Lady Liberty

by John Riggio

On October 28, 2011, we will be celebrating the 125th anniversary of the dedication of The Statue of Liberty. The official name of the statue is Liberty Enlightening The World. Its dedication was marked by New York's first ticker tape parade. There are some things this writer didn't know about Liberty before writing this tune. For instance, did you know there is a broken chain (shackle) at her feet? Or that she's actually taking a step forward? You'd have to see it from high up to notice these features, but fortunately The Statue Of Liberty National Monument web site has media showing these things.

This song has a simple melody, but its words are powerful. We've borrowed from the words of Emma Lazarus who penned the now famous words "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free..." (from "The New Colossus," 1883). Liberty is freedom from physical, political, and spiritual oppression, and it is one of the things our country is founded on: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. This is what we see when Lady Liberty is taking a step forward, and the song says it: "She's stepping out, away from servitude. No more oppression, a better life."

This song presents an opportunity to talk with your students about the concepts of liberty and freedom, and works well in a cross curricular setting. Your students might be interested in learning more about the Statue Of Liberty at the official monument web site:

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.